Threadspun / Cannonball Collective: Interview with Heidi Ledger

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What is the name of your business / social media handle?

Threadspun

Web: www.threadspun.co

Instagram: @threadspun / @shopcannonball

Facebook: Threadspun

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What is the concept behind the store?

Well, it all started as my workspace for Threadspun, surfboard bags. My husband was running his Acatama Surf store from this location and I would utilize the space for designing purposes. The store has now become a place to expand on my appreciation for artisan-produced textiles and social services. I’m beginning to merge new products from the newly formed Cannonball Collective with Threadspun. The basis behind the business is to create fair wage employment for refugees and encourage people to make more sustainable choices in their purchasing habits. And to appreciate and support handmade craft and design. I personally try to be as sustainable as I can, so I am always striving to learn more and research stuff to be more eco-friendly. I like to feel good about what I am making.

 

I think it will take people a little more time to understand the concept. It’s really hard to find impactful goods if you’re not looking/taking the time to buy things that are sustainably made. It’s so easy to buy what’s right in front of you when you need it. Cannonball is a step towards appreciation for beautifully unique, environmentally-friendly and sustainable products. Everything in my store aligns with my brand and that vision. Eco-friendly, handmade in the US. I wanted to be a small part of that movement.

I came from nonprofit management but I have learned that if you aren’t making money then you can’t keep your business rolling. So I’ve moved away from board bags and am focusing more on my clutches. Having the workspace is what motivated me to start Cannonball and grow the brand. The main reason behind the store is to make a difference and give back, so 10% of all profits go to our charity partner, Circle of Health. Expanding the product line allows me to give back more. 

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How long have you been doing this and how did you get started?

I’ve been doing this for two and half years, pretty much since my son Arlo was born. It started out really slow, mainly on the production side because I was learning, learning how to cut patterns and how to sew. I was struggling with the sewing part and at the time I was still working with the a non-profit to help settle recently arrived refugees in San Diego County. I met, Pleh from Berma who had the skills to help me and it created income for her. I designed and cut and she sewed the bags. As we worked together, I realized there was a huge need for fair-wage employment for these newly arriving refugees. Now I have a sister in law duo from Afghanistan who sews all the bags. It’s always been former refugees, and I pay them the cost of living. I think even if you’re learning, you deserve to be paid fairly. This is why the cost of what we sell is a bit higher than what you’re used to.

What is your favorite part about being in Leucadia?

I would have to say the people. I really like the community here! I feel like since I’ve been in the space, and putting myself out there more with my brand and story, I have really connected with amazing people in the community. The people here really care, are interested in the environment, sustainability, and things that are unique. Since opening the shop I feel so much more rooted in the community.

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What do you think you were born to do?

When I was a kid I wanted to be a gemologist. I had this wicked rock collection that I’ve since passed onto my kids. They are still too young to appreciate it but it’s still fun to look and learn about them together. I really thought I would be a geologist or anthropologist, that’s where my interests lied when I was young. I took a lot of those classes in college and my parents were like get over yourself, stop taking classes about rocks. Turns out I really was not good at science. No matter how hard I tried, not good at all! Then I thought I would be in the UN or peace corps. My focus in college turned towards Global Studies and I saw myself living in another country, then I met my husband and life has brought us here. So this is my way of bringing all my interests and that stuff home.

What is the one thing you feel like you need to do before you die?

I need to take my kids somewhere they can experience what life is like for the majority of other people in the world, people living on a dollar or less per day. It’s important to me that my kids don’t grow up knowing only life in Encinitas. This place is amazing, there is just so much more. I also don’t want them to grow up thinking the world is their oyster. I hate that saying, it’s not your oyster! I would love to live abroad with them, making service to others a part of their lives, seeing things that aren’t pretty… because that’s not the way the world really is. I want them to be grounded and have strong values. I really believe we need to teach our kids to be kind and I want them to understand the value in helping people. 

What are your business hours so everyone can come see how cool your shop is?

Starting September 1st, the shop will be open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. You can also shop online.

Do you have anything exciting coming up in the near future?

I’m always researching and looking for new ideas on how to stoke my fire. I’m excited to be a part of this year’s Leucadia Art Walk happening August 26th! There are so many rad and creative people in this community that are showcasing their work.
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Photo Credits: Oveth Martinez / Takashi Tomita / Jolene Hertzler

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